When it comes to exercise, nothing discourages people more than long distance running. The idea sounds simple enough, but the dedication and effort needed is always an issue. It could be a lack of motivation, fear of pain, aversion to the outdoors, or even plain laziness. For the most part, when given the choice, the average person would choose anything else over running a mile.
Running the Gauntlet
A notch above running is ultra-running, which covers more ground – literally. Many of these races often go beyond the six-hour period, as well as go through many courses, obstacles, and trails. These events are growing in popularity among all the demographics around the world. In fact, here are some interesting notes regarding the state of ultra-running heading into the 2020s.
As you can see, anyone can start training regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. The only roadblock is the person’s motivation to start, and the willingness to finish the mile. If a person feels intimidated with running, can you imagine their reaction to ultra-running?
The Challenge of Ultra-Running
While running is a physically intensive activity, the main issue lies within the mind. Running is just as much about the motivation as it is about physical limits. Your motivation can dictate whether your body can continue or not. Your mind gives the reasons whether to push your limits or give up halfway through.
A common factor of what determines motivation is a person’s social environment. Think about it – if you are around inactive people, finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult. However, if you surround yourself with racers who routinely run for fun, getting started would not be as hard. Having the proper social support can help keep to your goal. It can also lead to a faster learning experience, with someone showing you the ropes.
With you going at it alone, it is very easy to lose motivation. Your mind may start creating excuses and reasons why you should go home. The pain threshold can also dictate whether to stop during an exercise session. Surrounding yourself with people aiming for similar goals can increase motivation and keep you going.
A Mile in Your Shoes
Believe it or not, there is more to running than simple speed. Running is a learned skill, and the better you are at it, the farther you can go. One cannot expect to finish an ultra-marathon on their first try, without any proper training, pacing, or decent gear. It just does not work that way.
Running takes a lot of effort – at first. However, if you work on it, not only can you run longer with lesser effort – you also gain tons of health benefits. The most important thing to remember is practice, practice, and practice. Repetition is key, with each session aimed to be better than the last.
Of course, finding the right people to keep you motivated can also help immensely. Running can be a very social sport if you make it so. The only thing stopping you from a run is you.